Bradbury: Hawks must be more clinical against Stortford

Dan Blanchett is back for the Hawks
Dan Blanchett is back for the Hawks
Moneyfields captain Steve Hutchings Picture: Neil Marshall

Hawks suffer first league defeat of season

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Lee Bradbury insists his team need to improve at both ends of the pitch when they face Bishop’s Stortford in tonight’s Vanarama National League South clash at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).

With their game against Chelmsford City falling foul of the weather the Hawks remain in the bottom three two points adrift of Hayes and Yeading.

Harry Medway

Harry Medway

A win is needed if Bradbury’s team are to stand any chance of hauling themselves out of the relegation zone.

Bradbury accepts his side must improve at both ends of the pitch if they are to avoid conceding a league double to their visitors.

In the disappointing 3-1 home defeat by Gosport Borough recently the Hawks were poor both defensively and in attack.

‘We need to be better in both boxes,’ said Bradbury.

‘I am going to need players who are prepared to dig in and get around on a heavy pitch.

‘They must be prepared to put their bodies on the line.

‘I feel we have done that reasonably well in our last four games but have to be far more clinical in both penalty areas.

‘Against Gosport we had the better chances but we failed to take them

‘Bishop’s Stortford will present us with another tough test defensively.

‘Up front they have a big target man in Mikel Suarez and the league’s second highest scorer Elliott Buchanan playing just off him.

‘They will pose a big threat.’

Bradbury is forced to make one change with full-back Warren Cummings likely to be ruled out by his hamstring injury for a few weeks.

That means either Harry Medway or Dan Blanchett could play.

Medway has figured the most so far this season and went on as a substitute for Cummings against Gosport.

Bradbury, however, may decide to opt for the greater experience of Blanchett who has rarely featured this season.

‘The injury situation means that Dan Blanchett will return to the squad and his experience might help us,’ said Bradbury.’

Apart from Cummings the home side are unlikely to make any further changes at the back.

Until the Gosport game Josh Hill and Jack Whatmough have looked solid in the heart of the defence.

Up front Bradbury may shuffle the pack again in his search for goals.

He will have to decide between Matt Paterson and James Hayter to lead the attack.

Marvin Morgan has left on loan to Wealdstone for the rest of the season but there appears to be no plan to replace him.

‘I am not actively looking to recruit at the moment but if a player comes along that could strengthen us then I will take a look at it,’ said Bradbury.

The Hawks will be keeping a close eye on the weather and hoping to avoid another postponement.

Bishop’s Stortford have already made one wasted trip to the south coast only a few weeks ago and both parties will want to avoid a repeat.

Hawks: Young, Strugnell, Hill, Whatmough, Medway, Blanchett, Stock, Donnelly, Lewis, Swallow, Mullings, Paterson, Hayter, Molyneaux, Ciardini, Thomson.